When iOS 6 arrives later this year, iPad pioneers who are still using their first-generation devices will find that they can’t upgrade to the new operating system.

Convert an old iPad into a dedicated ereader

If you’re not handing that iPad over to your kids (or parents), you might wonder what you can do with the device. Sure, you could still run iOS 5 and all of your previous apps, but Macworld’s Lex Friedman has a better idea — turn that old iPad into a dedicated e-reader.

While you can buy an Amazon Kindle for as little as US$79, there are some advantages to using an iPad as an e-reader. Compared to its one-trick brethren, the iPad has a more powerful processor, a brighter display, and the advantage of multi-touch gestures. On the other hand, that inexpensive Kindle is much lighter and more readable in daylight…

Should you decide to keep the iPad as a Kindle substitute, Friedman suggests paring the distracting apps down to a minimum, disabling notifications (or even setting the device to Airplane Mode so it can’t access the Internet), and locking the screen orientation.

For software, there are plenty of reading apps — Amazon’s Kindle Reader, Apple’s iBooks, Newsstand, Zinio, and even Nook and Kobo. Reading content from the Web is easy with apps like Instapaper ($3.99), Pocket (free), and Readability (free).

What about you? Do you have a first-generation iPad that you’ll be replacing? What are your ideas for repurposing that hardware? Leave us a note in the comments.

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